Canberra Stadium no longer a fortress
Canberra Stadium is not the fortress it used to be. Traditionally, NRL teams have dreaded the trip to the national capital, none more so than now-Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett.
Bennett’s former club St George Illawarra has not won in Canberra since 2000.
Until Sunday, the veteran coach had never masterminded the downfall of a David Furner-coached Raiders outfit.
All that changed for Bennett when his Knights thrashed the Raiders 36-6 on home soil.
It was Newcastle’s fourth win at Canberra Stadium in 18 games and followed Canberra’s emphatic 32-16 humiliation of Newcastle at Hunter Stadium in round 14.
For the Raiders it was their sixth loss at home this season, managing only three wins on home ground.
Furner is at a loss as to why his team can’t seem to get it together at home.
“It’s a tough one for everyone to swallow – players, coaches, fans,” he said.
“Today the players, preparation-wise, everything was ready to go. I don’t know.”
Raiders skipper David Shillington seemed embarrassed about this year’s appalling home record.
“I would love to have a better home record than away record,” he said.
But Bennett is basking in his new-found fortune in the ACT.
“I’ve done a lot of trips out of Canberra,” he said.
“I loved my time at the Dragons but we always found a way to get beaten and go home.
“So I’m just looking forward to the trip home tonight with a win from Canberra.”
Knights skipper Danny Buderus was also ready to celebrate on the trip north.
“For someone like myself who’s been down here and got spanked a few times it’s good to finally get a win,” he said.© AAP 2013
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